Yoga is a traditional art and way of life philosophy that originated from India. In our current day and time, there are many different styles of Yoga that originate from different lineages and gurus internationally. Thanks to them, the practice of Yoga is so popular and accessible all over the world now. There are various yoga studios, group yoga classes, private yoga classes, yoga workshops that we can attend conveniently. In this post, we explore the different popular styles of Yoga and its benefits. This helps you to choose your ideal style of Yoga effectively.
‘Ha’ is translated as sun and ‘tha’ as the moon from Sanskrit to English. Hatha yoga focus on balancing the masculine and feminine aspects and energy within our bodies. In a Hatha Yoga class, we typically practice basic poses from standing to seated and lying down positions.The pace of the yoga class is very static where we move in and out of poses slowly. Expect to hold and stay in a specific pose for 5 to 10 breaths.
Practicing Hatha Yoga strengthen muscle groups as we stay in poses for a longer period of time. It also trains our patience as we learn to be calm in stillness.
Vinyasa yoga is a very popular choice of practice lately. It has a very dynamic and fast pace sequence. Expect to move from yoga pose to pose quickly, there are few holding of poses as compared to Hatha Yoga. A strong focus and tenacity is required as you’ll need to coordinate your breath with the physical movements.
If you like fast pace and intensive movements, you’ll prefer to attend Vinyasa style classes than traditional Hatha classes. It is also great for building stamina, burning calories and toning of muscles.
Hatha Flow Yoga
Hatha Flow is a hybrid between Hatha and Vinyasa. It consists of both dynamic and static practice. In a sequence of Hatha Flow, expect to hold and stay in stillness for some poses up to 5 breaths and move dynamically from pose to pose. This is less strenuous than a typical Vinyasa class and less static than a traditional Hatha yoga class.
This is great for both building strength and increasing flexibility. It is also recommended for beginners that will like to up the challenge.
All other types of yoga works on a method of active stretching. Active stretching is when all our muscles are engaged while we are in a yoga pose. Yin yoga works on passive stretching. The concept of passive stretching is when muscles are being let loose while we hold in a pose. It helps us release tension and lactic acid build up within our sore muscles. It also works on the fascia, ligament, joints and bones of our body.
Expect the yin yoga sequence to be very slow pace and practicing of few poses. Many poses are practiced seated, prone or lying on your back. It is very similar to restorative yoga which allows our bodies to fully relax, recover from strains and aches.